Oxford United must play with no fear, says new boss

9:30am Wednesday 9th July 2014

By David Pritchard

MICHAEL Appleton used his first meeting with Oxford United’s players to call for them to stick to their strengths and play without fear.

The new head coach is well aware time is of the essence after starting work on Monday, just over a month before the start of the Sky Bet League Two season.

He is keen to bring in new players quickly, but also wants to get to know those already at the club.

Appleton spoke briefly to the squad to lay out his plans, and the former Portsmouth and Blackburn boss intends to lead by example.

He said: “I told them there’s going to be no Robert de Niro speeches. You’ll know what my qualities are and you’ll see what I’m about over the next days, weeks and months with the professionalism I bring to the party.

“I expect them over a period of time to come and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves.

“That’s how I work. I always have an open door and I’m quite an easy guy to get on with as long as you do your job properly.

“I just want the players to express themselves.

“Whatever qualities they bring to the team – do it without fear.

“Whether you’re someone who defends well, a good passer or like to attack people, stick to your strengths and relax.”

Dave Kitson is the only U’s player who has worked with Appleton before, when the pair were at Fratton Park during the 2011-12 season.

The rest will have to learn how the new boss wants to play, their first outing coming with the start of the pre-season games at Farnborough this Saturday.

Appleton believes his sides have a track record of attractive football but also acknowledged there was a need to be pragmatic.

He said: “Most people are going to say ‘I want an open brand of football’.

“They use all the right words and to be fair, with 90 per cent of them, that is what they want.

“With my background I think the majority of sides I’ve been with have always played good football.

“But on the other hand, you have to find a way to win.

“There will be occasions between November and January where the weather isn’t fantastic and there will be situations where we need to find a way to win when we’ll have our backs to the wall.

“Hopefully we have enough personalities and strength of character to do that.”

Latest Sport news

New Williams F1 finance chief believes team well set for new season

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Thursday 26th February 2015

WILLIAMS’ new chief financial officer believes the Formula One team will be as competitive this year as it was in 2014.

LONDON WELSH: Carl Kirwan desperate for Exiles to avoid 'worst-ever' tag

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 26th February 2015

FLANKER Carl Kirwan says London Welsh are desperate to avoid becoming statistically the worst team in Aviva Premiership history.

ATHLETICS: Megan Humphreys produces superb display in English Cross Country Championships

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Thursday 26th February 2015

OXFORD City star Megan Humphreys produced one of the best performances of her fledgling career to finish tenth in the English Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in London.

MOTORSPORT: Bradley Smith ends Sepang testing on a high note

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 26th February 2015

BRADLEY Smith signed off pre-season testing with an encouraging sixth fastest time at Sepang yesterday.

CRICKET: Horspath snap up paceman Adam Price and big-hitter Adam Mould

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 26th February 2015

Horspath have signed Oxford left-arm paceman Adam Price and destructive Bledlow batsman Adam Mould ahead of their first season in the top flight of the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League.

BOWLS: South Oxford stalwart Hilda Waller chalks up a splendid century

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 26th February 2015

Former South Oxford president and captain Hilda Waller enjoyed many a success on the green – but she has just chalked up her greatest triumph by celebrating her 100th birthday.

CRICKET: Paul Humphreys among new Oxfordshire Cricket Board directors

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Thursday 26th February 2015

Aston Rowant chairman Paul Humphreys is among three new directors co-opted on to the Oxfordshire Cricket Board.

BOWLS: Oxfordshire claim place in last four

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 26th February 2015

Oxfordshire's Premier team swept aside Wiltshire 27-13 in the English Short Mat Bowling Association’s Inter County Competition Plate quarter-final at Guildford.

ICE HOCKEY: Oxford City Stars record crucial win in battle to avoid the drop

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Thursday 26th February 2015

OXFORD City Stars secured a tense 5-4 victory at Solent Devils to boost their battle against the drop in South Division 1.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Oxford Saints eye new talent

6:30am Thursday 26th February 2015

OXFORD Saints are looking for new players ahead of the coming season.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/